Message received, Louis

Jukka Laari jlaari at kanto.cc.jyu.fi
Mon Oct 30 14:15:07 MST 1995


On Sun, 29 Oct 1995, Louis N Proyect wrote:

> (...)  The split we are talking about is between the Marxism of Marx, 
> Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and Luxemberg, etc. and the Marxism of Lukacs, 
> the Frankfurt school, Althusser, Poulantzas, etc., what Perry Anderson 
> called "Western Marxism". 

Odd.  Why Lenin, Trotsky, Luxemburg? (Where, for example, is Kautsky?) 
They're all political figures, and important in a sense of political 
history. I respect Rosa Luxemburg, but when it comes those bloodsuckers 
Lenin & Trotsky - I leave them for historians... And I will never place 
them on same 'level' with KM. The real split is between KM and the 
others. 

For me odd thing is the idea that we should consider some particular 
sides and phases of the history of marxism as more 'fundamental' (or 
whatever). Teachings of early 20th century marxists aren't valid today. 
Last 20-30 years should prove that to everyone. 


> When I burst into the Marxism list a year ago, all the discussion 
> going on was of the "Western Marxism" kind. There was absolutely NO 
> reference to the outside world. 

Yes, I remember last autumn. Us who are not living in USA are obviously 
(?) minority on this list. Our reality might be a bit different than 
yours. But why should we disturb your revolutionary dreams with our 
problems?  (For example, here in Finland is perhaps highest unemployment 
rate of the whole Europe, 18-20%, and the present f***ng 'depression' 
just continues and continues, because that's what the biz-boys need.) 
There seem to be problems enough in USA. And I don't imagine that I 
can help you to make fundamental changes in your society. 

I'm just wondering how you think you could do a revolution in a society 
where most of the people seem to get sick when confronted with politics 
(as contrary to that television driven imaginary politics of image 
making and manipulation) - hope I'm wrong about that. That same tendency 
is getting more powerful everywhere in developed capitalistic world. If 
you can't produce relevant theory to explain and help you to get to 'the 
hearts and minds of people' then you won't manage any kind of 
revolution. How you could affect people so that they'll be ready not 
only to vote but to die for you? Give them rational arguments and 
they'll laugh you out. 

I think that fascism reading/learning list is least to do in order to 
grasp some of modern social dynamic. 


>  I don't question the value of other people's intellectual 
> pursuits, I just question whether it is what is most crucial in 
> effecting revolutionary change. 

Firts of all, it's not just intellectual pursuits. Marx wrote about 
philosophers that they'd been explaining the world but the point is to 
change it. 100 years marxists have been repeating that. In worst cases 
world has moved to other directions when our revolutionaries have been 
babbling about changing it. Sad. 

Well, considering 20th century and its revolutions, I'm afraid that it's 
pure luck that those revolutionaries have been so out-of-touch with the 
rest of reality... 

How to effect a revolutionary change in 21st century, in 'new world 
order'? That should be the burning question, I believe. And to answer 
that question takes some 'intellectual' work to produce relevant 
concepts and theories to analyze, explain, understand & predict (if 
possible) social dynamics of coming decades. In that particular sense, I 
believe, these intellectual pursuits are quite crucial... And in that 
sense I try to understand those 'western marxists' as people trying to 
explore the nature of dynamics of socio-cultural phenomena. Lenin and 
especially Trotsky didn't understood that at all because they didn't have 
to. It's different to us. 

Yours, Jukka Laari


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